The 2022 NBA Draft gets underway tonight, but the NBA offseason has already been in full swing.
In addition to the rumors of contracts being picked up or voided and the speculation of who might try to move up in the NBA Draft, we’ve already seen the trades begin with the Detroit Pistons trading Jerami Grant to Portland on Wednesday night.
Historically, the NBA Draft has been a fertile trading ground, so we’re going to prepare for tonight by looking at some of the biggest names who could be on the move tonight, according to recent trade rumors.
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz
There has been a lot of speculation surrounding Gobert’s Jazz teammate Donovan Mitchell. Some of that is even centered around the New York Knicks after Mitchell was seen taking batting practice at Citi Field last week.
However, it seems as though the team is more inclined to hold onto Mitchell and build around him. That would likely mean dealing Rudy Gobert. A possibility that started to gain more internet traction after Gobert removed all Jazz mentions from his special media accounts.
However, since Utah doesn’t have a first-round pick, they don’t hold an asset that has a value tied to the NBA Draft. That means Gobert doesn’t have to be dealt tonight in order for a deal to happen.
Gordon Hayward, Charlotte Hornets
The veteran small forward is likely to be on the move due to his contract. The Hornets are reportedly hoping to deal Hayward, along with one of their two first-round picks, so that they can clear space to sign Miles Bridges to a long-term deal.
Considering Hayward hasn’t played more than 52 games in three straight seasons and is settling in as a 30-minute per night, 16-point-per-game wing who plays average defense, it’s not a surprise that he would be on the move. Hayward has shot 40% from beyond the arc in his two seasons with Charlotte, so a contending team could be willing to take him on as a rotation piece, especially with the draft pick attached.
Since Hayward is owed $30.1 million next year and $31.5 million in 2023-24 so it would likely be a big-market team that would take on Hayward. Some have mentioned the Lakers, who could move Russell Westbrook to Charlotte, since Westbrook is on an expiring contract and wouldn’t impact the re-signing of Bridges.
Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs
Because we live in a crazy world, trade speculation centering around Murray started because of this tweet:
— Dejounte Murray (@DejounteMurray) June 21, 2022
While it likely means nothing, the Spurs are fielding offers and have said it would take a “Jrue Holiday-like package” to part with their 25-year-old point guard. In case you forgot, Holiday was traded to the Bucks for Eric Bledsoe, George Hill, three future first-round picks, and two additional NBA Draft pick swaps. That makes me feel like these Murray trade rumors will amount to nothing.
John Collins, Atlanta Hawks
The next logical trade rumor to focus on is the Hawk’s desire to deal Collins since there is some speculation that Collins could be moved to San Antonio in a deal for Murray. In 2022, Collins was the Hawk’s second-leading scorer, averaging 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game on 53% shooting from the field.
However, despite Collins’ success, Marc Stein reported that “The likelihood of a John Collins trade, league sources indicate, is as high as it’s ever been.” Despite having four years left on his contract, the thought is that Atlanta believes they need to shake things up in order to make a deeper run into the playoffs.
One of the most likely landing spots is Sacramento, where the Kings could deal Harrison Barnes and the number four overall pick in order to secure Collins as a running mate for De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, and Domantas Sabonis.
Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers
We know the Pacers are trying to deal Brogdon because his name has come up in connection to the New York Knicks. A discussion the Knicks allegedly shot down when their 11th overall pick was brought up. With the Pacers likely headed towards a rebuild, it’s very likely that Brogdon is gone, potentially to Sacramento for the number four pick or somebody in the late part of the lottery, like New Orleans or Washington.
Of course, the Pacers and Knicks could still finalize a trade that doesn’t involve the 11th-overall pick. “New York is exploring all options pertaining to Alec Burks, Evan Fournier, Nerlens Noel, Kemba Walker, and Cam Reddish.”
In that potential rebuild in Indiana, there is also speculation that the Pacers would move on from Myles Turner, with the Timberwolves, Hornets, and Raptors being likely suitors. We’ve been seeing Turner trade rumors for years, so I’m less inclined to believe that he’s on the move, but he would certainly fetch a bigger return than Brogdon.
OG Anunoby, Toronto Raptors
Since we mentioned the Raptors being linked to Turner, we should also probably mention that the team has been in discussions with Portland about trading OG for the 7th overall pick.
Portland Trail Blazers are in pursuit of Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby with the No. 7 pick in Thursday’s draft in play, league sources tell @YahooSports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 22, 2022
While adding OG and Jerami Grant to play alongside Damian Lillard would do wonders for Portland, the impetus for Toronto to make the trade would be that the young small forward wants a bigger role on a team that simply doesn’t have the touches to give him one. While that doesn’t mean the Raptors HAVE to trade him, it does open up the possibility that they will if they believe it would improve their team chemistry or lineup cohesion.
D’Angelo Russell, Minnesota Timberwolves
Russell’s name is being kicked around in trade rumors, but, at this point, I just can’t see it happening:
The Timberwolves have not come close on any potential trades involving D’Angelo Russell, per @JonKrawczynski.
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) June 22, 2022
Matisse Thybulle, Philadelphia 76ers
There have been plenty of trade rumors surrounding the 76ers trying to package Thybulle and the 23rd overall pick, but I’ll let our friends at Philly Sports Network tell you everything you need to know about these rumors and their impact on the 76ers plans during the NBA Draft.
Monte Morris, Denver Nuggets
As Denver looks to get more minutes for Bones Hyland next year, they could explore trade possibilities with other guards, like Monte Morris, who is apparently coveted by the Washington Wizards. The Wizards are likely to take a bigger swing on a guard to pair with Bradley Beal, but Morris could be a fallback option if they fall short of their more ambitious pursuits.
John Wall, Houston Rockets
Earlier this week, Wall exercised his 2022-23 player option, which is not a surprise considering it was for $47.36 million, which is, I mean, wow. However, even after that, Shams Charania reported that “both sides are expected to work through a resolution on Wall’s tenure in the near future.”
While that could simply mean a buy-out, it’s also possible that the Rockets could attach an asset or two in order to entice a team into taking on Wall’s expiring contract. The Lakers were an option earlier in the offseason, with the idea of swapping Russell Westbrook for Wall, but that was allegedly nixed when Houston also wanted a first-round pick.
In the end, it seems unlikely the Rockets can find somebody to take on this kind of salary.